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Landlords: Dealing with finance costs correctly

The self-assessment deadline is looming. Self-assessment tax returns for the year to 5 April 2019 must be filed online by 31 January 2020 if a late filing penalty is to be avoided.Landlords will need to complete the property income pages. Particular care should be taken where the landlord has a loan or a mortgage as…


Are you making the most of the Capital Gains exemption for married couples and civil partners in transferring assets?

There are a number of tax concessions available to married couples and civil partners which recognise that their financial affairs may be interlinked. One of these concessions relates the transfer of assets between spouse and civil partner for capital gains tax purposes. The disposal is deemed to take place at a value which gives rise…


The high-income child benefit charge explained

Does the high-income child benefit charge apply? The high-income child benefit charge (HICBC) applies to claw back child benefit from either the claimant or his or her partner where at least one of them has an income of £50,000 or more. The charge is perhaps one of the more unfair tax charges in that the…


Have you overpaid an employee? Here’s what to do…

Correcting an overpayment of wages Mistakes happen, and it can be very easy inadvertently to pay an employee too much when doing the wages. Perhaps a number was keyed in incorrectly or figures were transposed, or maybe commission was overstated or an employee was paid for more overtime hours than they actually worked. From an…


Using company vans for tax-free home to work travel

As a general rule, travel between home and work is regarded as private travel and if the employer meets the cost of that travel, a benefit-in-kind tax charge will be triggered. However, it is possible for employees with a company van to use that van to travel between home and work, and for the employer…


Utilising the 2019/20 dividend allowance

The dividend allowance is quite unusual in that it is available to everyone and everyone has the same allowance. For 2019/20 the allowance is set at £2,000. In common with many allowances, it is a case of use it or lose it. As the end of the 2019/20 tax year draws closer, what can be…


Can my company buy me a new bicycle?

The government introduced ‘cycle to work’ back in 1999. Broadly, this is an annual tax exemption that allows a business to loan bicycles and cycle safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. This tax break has had a positive impact on workplace health and employee motivation and has encouraged new groups of people to…


Help employees beat the post-Christmas bulge

Promoting employee health and wellbeing is increasingly seen as a vital part of a successful business. According to government figures, in 2016/17, 1.3 million workers suffered from work-related ill-health, which equated to 25.7 million working days lost. This has been estimated to cost £522 per employee, and up to £32 billion per year for UK…


Party time for small companies

Although there is no specific allowance for a Christmas party, or any other employer-provided social function, HMRC do allow limited tax relief against the cost of holding an ‘annual event’ for employees, providing certain conditions are met. Broadly, the cost of staff events is tax deductible for the business. Specifically, the legislation includes a let-out…


Annual investment allowance or writing down allowance?

The way in which relief for capital expenditure is given depends on the way in which the accounts are prepared. For companies, and for sole traders and partnerships not eligible to use the cash basis, accounts must be prepared using the traditional accruals basis. Under the accruals basis, a deduction is not permitted for capital…